Joseph Schooling Tops 100 Butterfly Prelims in Rio

Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold / Aringo Photos


Editorial Coverage Sponsored By FINIS

Joseph Schooling of Singapore held off Michael Phelps in the final heat to post the fastest time of the morning in 51.41. He was followed by Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh, who qualified second in 51.52.

Cseh entered with the top time in the world this year, and still holds that with a 50.91 from the European Championships. But after entering with the world’s best time in the 200 fly as well, Cseh finished seventh, more than three seconds slower than the 1:52.91 he put up in May.

After a disappointing 200 butterfly, and then being the last one off the blocks this morning, Tom Shields of the USA won his heat and qualified third for semifinals in a 51.58. Phelps will return fourth after touching in 51.60.

Phelps admitted Thursday night that he had been aiming for a spot in the second semifinal as to give him more recovery time after the 200 IM final. But Phelps, in his own words, “screwed up,” and he will instead swim out of lane five in the first semifinal tonight.

Mehdy Metella of France stopped the clock in 51.71 for fifth. Just behind him was Italy’s Piero Codia who will be sixth after swimming a 51.72. Chad le Clos of South Africa was a 51.75.

Great Britain’s James Guy took off over the second 50 to tie with China’s Zhuhao Li for the eighth spot with a 51.78. Guy is more typically known for his middle-distance freestyle skills, but he also regularly swims butterfly on his country’s medley relays.

Poland’s Konrad Czerniak and Australia’s David Morgan tie for tenth in 51.81. Morgan’s teammate Grant Irvine (51.84) followed. Russia’s Aleksandr Sadovnikov (51.91) is 13th.

Santo Condorelli took nearly a half second from his seed time, swimming in heat two. In his second race of the morning, the Canadian touched in 51.99, .01 from his Canadian record.

Evgeny Koptelov (52.01) of Russia and Zheng Wen Quan (52.08) of Singapore also got second swims.

Full prelims results can be found here.